Tuesday, 30 October 2012

3 Reasons Your Social Strategy is Failing, and what you can do to Fix it.

This article was originally written by Brad Smith for SocialMediaToday. You can go and read the original article by clicking here.

"Social tactics are not meaningful sales drivers", according to Forrester's latest research report.
They analyzed primary sales drivers for eCommerce, and concluded that less than 1% of buyers were from social visitors.
There's a few possible explanations for this.
The first (and most important) is that social aids the buying process indirectly, and is difficult to track -- which leads companies (and research firms) to under-appreciate and under-invest.
The second, is that most corporate social media strategies... simply aren't that good. And their results are mediocre because they're too tactical, and too focused on micro-decisions.
Here are 3 reasons why your social strategy is failing, and what to do instead.

Fix #1: Create Content, Not Updates

Every status update should have a purpose, and engineered to succeed.
You're not just "telling people what you're up to", but you're creating content with a specific objective, interesting hook, and call-to-action.
So every single status update should bear all the hallmarks of good content.
Research and dig into your prospect's psychology, use copywriting to intrigue and address their pain points, and monitor your analytics to do more of what people like, and less of what they don't.
Every status update should be like it's own advertisement:
  • Objective: At the end of the day, you need engagement or click-throughs. But emphasis one at a time, not both. Because if you want to maximize results, then you typically have to make a choice that will hurt the other option.
  • Headline:The first goal of your headline is to grab attention. The best way is to touch an emotional nerve, or reference a specific "world-view" they might have.
  • Description: The description is where you use copywriting to play on reader's interests and psychology, and get them to take action.
  • Image: Finally, the goal of your image is to produce a desired result. So it doesn't have to be explicitly tied to what you're talking about. Instead, make it sure captures attention and will make an emotional connection.
Here's an example of all those components coming together:
Becoming a social media publisher allows you to set the tone for engagement, and steer the conversation in ways that ultimately benefit you.

Fix #2: Create Assets, Not Followers

If you hope to profit from social media one day, then you need to do more then gain followers. 
Instead, you need to focus your marketing on one-to-many.
For example, partners and good relationships with other brands or influential properties are assets. If you can create enough of these, then you'll never have to worry about growing your followers again. Because they'll help you with promotion and drive awareness for years to come.
The same goes for your own in-house email list or blog.
These are platforms that grow in value, and allow you to freely share messages and instantly reach communities of people.
Invest in marketing assets first, and the social media mentions and friends will follow. 

Fix #3: Create Campaigns, Not Launches

Whenever a company has a new launch, promotion, or sale coming up, they want to start "marketing" on the opening day.
But by then, you've already lost.
Effectively promoting events or launches takes time, and can't happen overnight.
"If you want to succeed in social media, then think in quarters, not days." → [Click here to share this quote]
So tying in to #1 above, if you want to increase sales and engagement over the holidays, don't flood your social media channels with "Buy my widget now!" updates all day.
But start creating holiday content that teases and hints at upcoming promotions. Find partners to cross-promote and help you distribute this content. Then run contests to increase engagement and excitement for the upcoming holiday specials. Finally, use lead nurturing and email marketing to consistently follow-up with people when they do -- or don't -- show intent to buy.
Investing in a single, well planned and executed holiday campaign will always have a higher ROI than spamming people the day before Christmas.
And with one investment, you're getting multiple returns in brand awareness, new traffic, social media mentions & followers, high-quality links for SEO, new email leads, and of course -- more customers.
The key to social media isn't to reinvent the wheel.
The key is to take what's worked for years, and use social channels to distribute those messages farther, faster, and more effectively.

Monday, 29 October 2012

5 Tips for Impactful Content Writing

This article was originally written by Rachel Strella for SocialMediaToday. you can read the original article by clicking here.

There is a saying among social media professionals that “Content is King.” Simply stated, posting valuable content is often what separates social media success from failure.  
This is a challenging step for many, but my rule of thumb is to know that you already have expertise, now you just need to share it in a way that resonates with your audience.
Here are some tips for creating strong social media content:
Shorter and punchier is better. Our attention spans are growing shorter as we are flooded with more and more information. If your Facebook post is longer than your pastor’s Sunday sermon, it probably won’t be effective. However, if you were to take the best quotes from that same Sunday sermon and post them as social media messages on behalf of your church, it would make much more of an impact, especially if the quotes build off one another and are united by a common theme.
Knowledge is power.  As a business professional, you probably know a thing or two that can help your customers/audience improve their quality of life. Leverage this. Post messages that are informative and helpful. It will strengthen your credibility by leaps and bounds.
Engage the audience. The magic of social media is often realized by creating engaging content that generates buzz and reverberates throughout the social media universe. Think of social media as an on-going conversation, and when you want to spur engagement, you’re looking to post conversation starters. This could include asking a thoughtful question or posting a quote from a well-known person (one that’s in line with your personal/business values).
Reveal the human side of your business. Especially for small businesses, the loyalty of customers or clients is often to you and your team – the people – as much as it is to any logo or brand image. For my clients, we’ve shown their human side by revealing fun facts about the owners (playing a game of “Did You Know?” is always fun). Shouting out to valued employee, client or customer is another great way to remind your audience that there are dedicated people behind your brand.
Current events. If something interesting is happening that’s related to your field, or to your audience, don’t be afraid to make a comment about it. But keep in mind the “bar rules” do apply. Don’t get political or religious unless you are prepared to face the potential consequences of doing so.
Also, make sure you observe what others are doing. If you like posts you’re seeing from others, don’t copy what they are doing, but put your own spin on the tactic and begin to use it for your purposes.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Apple Announces Fourth Generation iPad and iPad Mini

This article was originally written by Zach Walton for WebProNews. The original article can be found here.

It was rumored that the iPad Mini would be the major highlight of the Apple event. I don’t think anybody expected them to announce a new iPad, but he we are with the fourth generation iPad with a faster processor and graphics. Oh, and the iPad Mini is real.
Phil Schiller announced a fourth generation iPad only a little over half a year since the launch of the new third generation iPad. Schiller says that the new fourth generation iPad will feature an A6X processor that’s much faster than the previous generation. It will also feature a faster graphics processor than the previous generation for even better games. It will also feature the new lighting connector.
The fourth generation iPad will cost the same as the current third generation iPad. That means the base model will only run you about $499.
The true star of the show, however, is the iPad Mini. Schiller busted out the iPad Mini (that’s the actual name) and confirmed pretty much everything the rumors have suggested thus far. The iPad Mini is only 7.2 mm thin and weighs only 0.68 lbs. The display is 7.9 inches diagonally with a resolution of 1024×768.
The iPad Mini is powered by most of the specs that you’ll find in the iPad Mini. It sports an A5 processor and an HD Facetime camera. It also has a 5MP iSight backside camera. The Wi-Fi if faster with b/g/n connectivity and a lighting connector that’s now standard among Apple’s products.
Schiller stressed the point that the iPad Mini is a much better choice than other Android tablets. He used Google’s Nexus 7 as a comparison. The screen size is technically larger than that of the Nexus 7 which means that there’s more screen real estate for Web browsing. All the iPad specific apps on the App Store will run natively on the iPad Mini as well.
The base model iPad Mini will come with 16GB of memory for $329. Pre-orders for the Wi-Fi iPad Mini will start this Friday and begin shipping on November 2. The cellular versions will begin shipping two weeks later.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Online Business for Starters

As a business owner, you plan to take your business into another level. You always dream of having several branches to reach more people, expansion is a bright idea but the cost may be too expensive. Now you can expand and share your service and product into a bigger market, why not take your business globally? 

Having an online business allows you to reach your target audience easily, communicating is faster and there is a great possibility to catch more clients. This is a cheaper way of expanding your business, hassle free and no need to build a new office. Sounds easy but how will you start? 

A business owner must know how to do internet marketing. If you are a busy person who doesn’t have time to take a short course regarding online business and internet marketing, you can simply take online coaching and training product which means you can learn in your own free time. It basically teaches how to leverage the internet marketing. It’s about making things easier and simpler, you do more and more with less and less. More profits, more income with less effort, less investment and less time. With this type of technique, a business owner can be rich in no time. 

Once you have an online business, it is important that you keep in touch with your visitors and turn them into a client. Follow - ups is necessary, through emails you can tell them directly about your service, it’s advantages and why they need it. Who knows, they might be interested with what you offer or refer you to other people. Why emails? Because millions of people go online and check their emails everyday. For starters, this can be complicated, there are a lot of things that need to be done and sending emails everyday can be tiring. No worries because there are companies that help starters in managing their business. 

Although some of them may be strict, not everyone can be accepted, they do this to protect their integrity. Applicants must be qualified or referred. Once accepted, they provide virtual office, complete with business tools, training and technical support. There are also business coaches who have a wide experience and vast knowledge when it comes to business. They will lead you to the road of success. This is specially designed to guide and help those who have an online business to become successful regardless of their education and background in business.